The Pamir Kirghiz are a tribe of some 2,000 people from the Pamir region of Central Asia. For the last twenty-seven years they have lived in exile in eastern Turkey. In 2005 an Anglo-Turkish film crew arrived in their village to work with the tribe to tell their story: how the Pamir Kirghiz’ antipathy to communism drove them from Soviet Russia, then later from Maoist China, and finally from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to their current exile. And as the past is explored in interview and reconstruction, we see how the Pamir Kirghiz live today in modern Turkey. The film is part historical document, part ethnographical description of a unique people, part portrait of the conflict between individual and globalized culture, and part comedy about the process of filmmaking. "As soon as I met the Kirghiz, I immediately knew that, as it was their story, they should be directly involved in telling it. So I proposed that I would make the film with Ekber Kutlu, a sculptor and intellectual from the Kirghiz community, and that we would work together to reconstruct the past, and in that process we would hold interviews and report on their life today, in the hope that, in this way, we would arrive at a picture of past and present – their story, told by them. The film is a document of the Kirghiz' past and culture, but also a document of an unusual and very enjoyable artistic project, and a record of a successful collaboration between people of very different cultures." Ben Hopkins
Ben Hopkins, geb. 1969 in Hongkong. Philologie-Studium in Oxford, Studium der Filmregie in London. Drebuch zur sechsteiligen tragikomischen Serie "Begljankij" ("The Fugitives") des russischen Fernsehens. Filme seit 1993, u.a. "Simon Magus" (1999), "The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz" (2000), "Footprints" (2002).
Production: Tigerlily Films, London; Pi Film Productions, Istanbul
World Sales: Electric Sky
Cinematographer: : Gary Clarke
Art Director: Seda Orsel
Composer: Paul Lewis
Cast: Arif Kutlu, Alpaslan Kutlu, Süleyman Atanìsev, Ìsmaìl Atìlgan, Şereban Aslan, Aysun Uçar
Format/screen ratio: Digi Beta PAL, 1:1.78, color, b/w
Running time: 89 min., 25 frames/sec.
Languages: Kirghiz, Turkish, English
Foto: © Nikki Parrott